between my ribs, fog above the cemetery
where my grandmother
and great-grandmother pass
paper airplanes through the walls, above
the defunct train station and the abandoned zoo
where my friend and his lover
fucked in a tiger cage. Fog in my aorta,
in the hearts of squirrels
who lug around acorns too wide for their throats.
Fog in my cheese sandwich. Fog in my underwear
drawer, in my love’s mouth,
inside the watermelon’s
darkest seed. All of us a dream
the La Brea Tar Pits
are having. Fog above the tar
and fog inside the bones
below the tar. My mother mistaking her child
for a spool of fog. My love
catching the fog
as it leaves the champagne bottle.
Fog casting shadows
in three dimensions, but not the ones
that matter.
Let the fog’s calls
go to voicemail. Tell the fog
to eat shit, burn the fog’s letters.
Watch the fog recede
from the sky’s hairline. My body
where the fog was.

Copyright © 2021 by Ruth Madievsky. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 2, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.